Repeat Teen Childbearing: Differences Across States and by Race and Ethnicity

Child Trends

Although the teen birth rate reached a record low in 2004, nearly 20 percent of teen births that year were repeat births. This brief provides new data on trends in repeat teen childbearing by state and by racial/ethnic group to help state-level agencies and local program providers more closely target and address the needs of teens at high risk for repeat births. On a positive note, repeat births have been declining – down from 25 percent of all teen births in 1990 – and the decline has been particularly notable among African-American teens.

Researchers found wide variations among states in the percentages of teen births that are repeat births, and discovered that repeat births generally mirror each state’s overall teen birth rates. Texas, with the highest teen birth rate in 2004, also had the highest proportion of repeat teen births. New Hampshire had the lowest teen birth rate and, along with Maine and Vermont, the lowest proportion of repeat teen births. The brief presents factors and approaches that can help prevent repeat births to teen mothers. Free. 7 pages. (202) 572-6000,


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